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Metro Newsroom

Metro Agencies Team up with Private Arborists to Improve Louisville’s Trees

Tuesday June 14, 2011

Mayor Fischer Unveils Tree City USA Sign Marking 10th Anniversary

LOUISVILLE – Arborists from throughout Louisville Metro are teaming up to improve the health of downtown trees. The project, involving over 250 trees that line Roy Wilkins Avenue between I-64 and Broadway including Old Walnut and Baxter parks, offers important environmental and aesthetic benefits.

Employees from Arbor Works, Limbwalker, Nelson, Wright, Green Haven, Townsend and Bob Ray tree service companies are donating their time to prune healthy trees and remove dead ones. They will join city employees from Metro Parks and Public Works. The Arborist Day of Service will result in over 200 hours of labor valued at approximately $20,000, including equipment.

“We are excited to start this partnership that will educate the community about the importance of healthy trees,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Not only will our citizens see the difference but so will visitors to our city as they travel this gateway to downtown.”

Over 70% of the trees in the area need pruning and trimming to increase their health and lifespan.

“These trees are more than just something nice to look at,” said Forestry Manager Mesude Duyar-Ozyurekoglu. “They provide numerous benefits most people take for granted.”

A well maintained urban forest reduces urban heat effects, enhances air quality, reduces storm water run-off and lowers energy costs by providing shade over buildings.

“It was an easy decision to get behind a tremendous project like this,” Limbwalker Partner Cory Petry said. “It beautifies the area, protects the environment, creates awareness and brings businesses together in partnership with government under a unified goal.”

The partners are collaborating to develop a plan for improving Louisville’s overall urban forest. To ensure the partnership continues beyond the June 14th workday, the group will implement their vision to educate citizens on the benefits of a healthy urban forest, increase the overall quality of tree care in Louisville following industry standards and increase the number of certified arborists in the community. Future Days of Service are in the works.

“It is outstanding that these companies see the need for a project like this,” City Arborist Mark White said. “They offer resources enabling us to go beyond what Metro could do alone.”

Arborists from Beechwood Trees & Gardens developed a blueprint for the project area which includes replacing trees later this year. Planting is recommended in the dormant season.

“We are fortunate to have certified arborists working on this project,” Forester Bill Wheeler of LG&E said. “It is all about the right tree in the right place at the right time.”

*Metro Parks followed the standards of tree care based upon the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), Society of Municipal Arborist’s (SMA) and the Kentucky Landscape and Nursery Association (KNLA) standards for this project.

* LG&E is sponsoring some of the labor. Natural Product is donating mulch, Saf-TI-Co provided safety shirts for all of the workers and Masterson’s Catering will provide lunch to the crews.